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GMOs

February 26, 2010

I’m going to sway a bit from my vegan family-friendly food and yoga discussions today.  I’ll have one of those for you soon though.

About a year ago my boss lent me a CD of the Seeds of Deception lecture.  I listened to it on my commute everyday for a week, playing it through multiple times. The details the way GMOs are produced, the politics behind their approval, some of the negative safety studies that have been done, and their impact on pesticide use and food supply.

I had tried to avoid GMOs before listening to the lecture, simply because I believe that any time we seriously mess with nature it backfires.  I took a geohazards class in college where we read The Control of Nature by John McPhee, an excellent book that describes four of attempts to control nature that failed miserably.  Anyhow, I certainly didn’t want any man vs. nature experiments taking place in my body.

My opinions on GMOs were more of a personal conviction that anything, but I have since become aware of many scary facts about GMOs.  The first GMO was used to create insulin in 1982 and the FDA first approved GMOs for human consumption in 1994[i].  Only 15 years later, genetically modified foods are found in an estimated 50-70% of grocery store products.  Per the USDA website, 81-86% of corn and 87-90% of soybeans planted in the U.S. are genetically modified.  The long-term effects of GMOs are clearly unknown; they haven’t been around long enough to know otherwise.

The increase of GMOs doesn’t seem to be slowing.  Genetically engineered versions of many unassuming foods, including flaxseeds, crooked neck squash, rice, and papaya are being grown.   Appallingly, the FDA approved cloned meat and dairy for sale, without requiring designating labels.  The FDA mandates font sizes and country of origin labeling, but doesn’t think Americans have the right to avoid cloned meat?  I’m certainly glad I avoid meat and dairy all together!


[i] Nester E, Anderson D, Roberts C, Nester, M.  Microbiology: a human perspective. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 26, 2010 9:02 pm

    Thanks for your contest entries!

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